Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty started on a volatile note as weak domestic macroeconomic data and negative cues from global markets kept investors on edge.
After opening on a positive note, the 30-share index turned choppy to trade 54.61 points, or 0.14 per cent, lower at 40,061.45. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty slipped 33.20 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 11,807.25.
Top losers in the Sensex pack included Bharti Airtel, IndusInd Bank, Tata Motors, SBI, Tata Steel, ONGC and HUL, shedding up to 3.34 per cent.
On the other hand, Infosys, Yes Bank, Asian Paints and Maruti were among the top gainers, rising up to 2.13 per cent.
On Wednesday, the Sensex settled 229.02 points, or 0.57 points, lower at 40,116.06. Likewise, the Nifty dropped 73 points, or 0.61 per cent, to close at 11,840.45.
Foreign institutional investors purchased shares worth Rs 584.92 crore in the capital market in the previous session, while domestic institutional investors sold equities worth Rs 890.03 crore, data available with stock exchange showed.
According to traders, investors have turned jittery on account of weak macro numbers and negative global cues.
Retail price based consumer inflation spiked to 16-month high of 4.62 per cent in October on costlier food items, reducing the headroom for a rate cut by the RBI in its monetary policy due next month.
“Weak economic data has alerted the market to turn cautious,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
GDP data is also likely to be released by the end of the month, the expectation for which has worsened below 5 per cent noted in Q1FY20, he said, adding that the central bank is unlikely to change its monetary policy soon.
Market players are now awaiting wholesale inflation numbers, scheduled to be released later in the day. Globally, Hang Seng and Nikkei were trading up to 0.92 per cent lower amid concerns over political unrest in Hong Kong, while Shanghai Composite Index and Kospi were trading marginally higher.
Further, China’s industrial output grew much slower than expected in October, as its trade war with the US weighed on its overall economy.
Stock exchanges on Wall Street ended on a mixed note on Wednesday after Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell said the US economy is likely to continue to grow, but faces continued risks from the global slowdown and trade disputes.
On the currency front, the rupee depreciated 15 paise (intra-day) against the US dollar to trade at 72.24 in early session. Brent futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.35 per cent to USD 62.59 per barrel.